| SAN FRANCISCO, April 2
SAN FRANCISCO, April 2 Lyft, the ridesharing
service known for cars sporting fluffy pink moustaches, said it
has raised another $250 million, making it one of Silicon
Valley's most richly valued private companies.
The service, which uses a smartphone-based app to match
riders with paid drivers who use their own cars rather than
livery vehicles, said it would use the cash to expand
domestically and internationally. Currently, it works in 28 U.S.
cities, with plans to expand to two more by week's end: Tampa,
Florida; and Tucson, Arizona.
"The focus here was on growth without capital being a
constraint," said Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer, who
added that taking more venture funds "made more sense" than an
initial public offering at Lyft's stage of development.
San Francisco-based Lyft, which Zimmer and Logan Green
started in 2007, had raised $82.5 million before its latest
funding round. Now it has raised $332.5 million.
While the company declined to disclose a valuation, its
numbers put it in line with other private consumer-Internet
companies valued above $1 billion.
Online home-goods retailer Wayfair has raised around $358
million over the years, with investors valuing it around $2
billion at its last funding round. Accommodation service Airbnb
has raised around $325 million, for a valuation of $2.5 billion.
Uber, which runs a low-cost UberX ridesharing service
alongside a pricier town car service, has raised $410 million
for a valuation around $3.8 billion.
Coatue Management, the New York-based technology hedge-fund
that has recently moved into Silicon Valley, led Lyft's newest
funding round. Alibaba, the Chinese Internet company that has
filed for a U.S. IPO, joined the round, as did hedge fund Third
Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Fund and
Mayfield also participated.
The ridesharing companies have come under the spotlight in
recent months after accidents led to questions about when
drivers' individual insurance policies apply and when the
ridesharing companies' policies kick in. Some insurers say that
if nonprofessional drivers use their cars for ridesharing they
are violating their personal insurance policies.
Zimmer said ongoing industry talks with insurance companies
would likely result in some insurers changing the language in
their policies in coming months to allow ridesharing. He
declined to name specific insurance companies.
(Reporting by Sarah McBride; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)